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Garven’s 23 Points Leads Pope To ‘Ship in Notre Dame (Ajax) Tournament




On October 5, 2013, the Pope John Paul II Panthers (Scarborough, ON) defeated the Notre Dame Cougars (Ajax, ON) by a score of 63-43 to win the 2013 Ajax News Advertiser Classic Championship title.

“I thought my team played well defensively and offensively,” said Panthers’ standout, Danielle Garven of how her team played in the Finals. “We came out fighting from the very beginning, talking on defense and pushing the ball up the floor and executing our plays.”

The Panthers went undefeated in the 12 team tournament, but did have their share of close calls on their way to the championship. After handily beating Dunbarton (Pickering, ON) in their first game, the Pope John Paul II team survived a tight 2-point win over the Holy Names Knights (Windsor, ON), winning by a narrow 54-52 margin (Eternati Willock – Panthers 18 pts; Carly Steer – Knights 23 pts). That win allowed them to move on to the Championship Semi-Finals where they needed Overtime to get by a quick Pickering Trojans team, 48-41 (Danielle Garven 12 points; Rachel Woodburn 17), setting them up for the all important Finals matchup against the Cougars.

Needing to face the Cougars in the Finals of their home tournament, created an interesting set of challenges for the Cougars. A gym full of fans and a delayed start due to a couple of overtime games throughout the Saturday only added to the stress list of Pope John Paul II in that Championship game. Regardless, the Panthers stuck to their on court game plan, which Garven said was their keys to that win in the Final game.

“We had to make sure to always pound the ball inside and make sure we always had a body on Lorraine at all times,” said Garven who’s team looked to take advantage of their height and ability to get the job done in the paint. In mentioning the attention they needed to pay top prospect Iziegbe (Lorraine) Enabulele, it was clear that by looking to neutralizing her, they would be forcing the Cougars to be successful from outside the paint, in which they managed to do.

After a tight First Half, which saw the Panthers take a tight 26-24 lead at the break, the team from Scarborough, ON outscored their opponents 22-10 in the decisive 3 Quarter. Pope’s Forward Cheyenne Creighton, who scored 10 of her overall 16 points in that Quarter alone. Garven herself scored 8 to add to that momentum swing which she says was due to the personal things she set her mind to accomplishing.

“I just tried to make sure that I played my game,” she said understanding how her role fit in. “I’m a shooter. If I have the open shot, I had to try to take it and not hesitate on it. But then, also try to look for my teammates if they’re open.”

With these galvanizing close wins and the Tournament title under their belts, I asked Garven what can we expect from her team for the remainder of the season. Her reply was an emphatic “BIG THINGS!!”

Tournament Playoff Results

Consolation Semi-Finals
Leacock (Scarborough, ON) defeated Regiopolis Notre Dame (Kingston) 33-30 – OT
Holy Names (Windsor, ON) defeated St. Michael (Bolton, ON) 48-26

Consolation Final
Leacock defeated St. Michael 46-27 (***Holy Names withdrew due to travel)

Championship Semi-Finals
Notre Dame (Ajax, ON) defeated St. Laurent (Montreal, QC) 48-38
Pope John Paul II (Scarborough, ON) 48 defeated Pickering (Ajax, ON) 48-41 – OT

Championship Finals
Pope John Paul II defeated Notre Dame 63-43